Washington, D.C. Paid Family Leave guide

OCTOBER 1, 2021 UPDATE: Employees are now entitled to take up to six weeks of paid family leave (PFL) for their own serious health condition. (Prior, the max was two weeks for that reason.) The DC Department of Employment Services (DC DOES) will update the PFL poster on its website before the end of the year. Employers are required to post the updated poster by February 1, 2022. We recommend checking for the new poster before the end of the year on the DC DOES PFL webpage here.

What are state paid family and medical leave laws?

State paid family and medical leave laws provide for paid leave from work for eligible employees based on certain qualifying life events, such as the birth or adoption of a child, to care for oneself or a family member who is experiencing a serious medical condition, or to care for a family member injured while on active duty in the military, among others. Employees receive a weekly benefit which represents a portion of their regular compensation based upon a state created formula.

We've compiled a review of D.C.'s Paid Family Leave to ensure you're aware of key upcoming dates and the requirements to ensure your compliance.

Washington, D.C. Paid Family Leave

*Effective July 1, 2020, DC workers became eligible to apply for paid family leave.

  • Employee Eligibility Criteria:
    • Almost all DC employees of private employers are covered by the program and for whom unemployment insurance tax is paid by the employer.
  • Weekly Benefit Amount:
    • Benefit amounts are calculated on an employee’s average weekly wage (determined by total wages earned during the highest 4 out of 5 quarters immediately preceding a qualifying event) divided by 52.
    • The current maximum benefit amount is $1,000.00 per week.
  • Employee and/or Employer Contributions to the program:
    • 100% employer funded through a quarterly employer payroll tax of 0.62% of an employer’s covered employees’ total wages.
    • There is no cap on wages subject to PFL contribution.
  • Duration of Leave:
    • Up to 8 weeks in a single year.
  • Qualifying events making employees/participants eligible for leave:
    • 8 weeks to bond with a new child.
    • 6 weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
    • 2 weeks to care for employee’s own serious health condition.
  • Other relevant Information:
    • Notice Requirement: employers must provide information about paid family leave at the time of hiring, at least once annually starting in 2020, and at the time that an employee requests leave for which s/he could be entitled to benefits under the paid leave program.

Please visit Washington D.C.’s paid family leave website for more information and additional resources.


Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Employers should closely monitor the rules and regulations specific to their jurisdiction(s) and should seek advice from counsel relative to their rights and responsibilities.

Megan Butz

By Megan Butz
General Counsel, HR Compliance, Checkwriters
Megan joined Checkwriters in 2020 and is responsible for reviewing, revising, and implementing internal policies of the company, advising on human resource, employment, and labor matters, and monitoring and publishing state and federal legal updates to the Checkwriters News and Compliance Center for distribution to thousands of clients around the country. Before joining Checkwriters, Megan served as a judicial law clerk for the justices of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court performing legal research and writing, followed by private practice in Cape Cod.

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